Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links




1.  Making people valuable again.  Why, oh why, do so many folks fetishize jobs?  If stuff is almost free, they think that's a bad thing because there are fewer jobs.  And the jobs pay less.

2. Amar Bhide on the 2% solution.

3.  It is unacceptable to display the swastika; should the hammer and sickle be treated that way, too?

4.  He din' go out like a punk.  Brothel owner dies after major birthday party, still wins election, in Nevada.

5.  Angus is always a fan of "divided government." Because divided they bicker, rather than do stupid stuff.

6. Kim Davis is out.

7.  Toy library: sharing is apping.

8.  Classical liberalism and the problem of class.  My review of Hart, et al.

9.  Much of U.S. "aid" in Latin America is really a prop to thuggish dictators.  To paraphrase Ted Williams, "If you can't do do much good, you shouldn't do so much."

10.  Spoon Theory. And More. The original post.

11.  Florida Man, on midterms.

12. Promotion in Econ: Tyranny of the Top Five.

13. Tillman's wife, on "What Pat Would Have Thought."

14.  There was this. (about 1:00 for the Crenshaw part). And then this is pretty interesting.  Whole thing worth watching, but the part at 2:20 is quite funny. Some background.

15. In his own way, Woody-Wil was the Trump of his era. Only with extra eugenics.

16.  Charlottesville, with hindsight.

17. Peanut flavored.....IPA

18. Troubling truffles are not to be trifled with.

19.  Soon the meme will be "Google Trump," a frothy mix of...... (I mean if the Santorum can critique on likeability, and be right, it's only a matter of time).

20. It's actually true that it's hard to be poor in DC.  It's true. Yes, she has some money coming in soon, but it's a mistake to mock someone who is critiquing the DC housing market.

Grand Lagniappe:  "Hakuna THIS matata, you marsupial!"



Monday, November 05, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  Stolen Colon.

2.  Rob Reiner posts Carl Reiner.

3.  Charlotte police respond to suspicious package call. What they found was terrifying.

4.  Innovation in education: Nairobi.

5. Rehnquist proposed to Sandy D after law school.  Wow.

6.  Sausage party, Mom presses charges.

7.  Toothy.

8.  Teaching reading.

9.  "Wuv....TRUE wuv...." A man and his pint.

10.  The next Arab uprising.

11.  For a while Krugman was always right, in my view. Then he became a shill for the Dems, and was always silly and over-simpliied. Then he was occasionally right, though ridiculous. And now he's pretty much always right again. As here.

12.  Lost baggage handler.

13. What could possibly go wrong with having armed paramilitary groups running around at night with guns at the border?  I guess we'll find out.

14.  Promethea Unbound.

15.  The rarely seen behavior of an actual Canadian being born.  Very cute little guy.

16.  To be fair, I doubt the dog is "pretending to be" a stray. It IS in fact, a stray, for the few minutes required to achieve the desired objective.

17. Violence and immigration.

18.  I'm not worried because it's offensive. I'm not not easily offended. But how could they have thought this was funny?

19.  Leave the driving to Uber.

20.  I have a prediction:  This video is the MOST AWESOME thing that Angus will see this week.  It was made for him, I think. Or for his sense of humor.  To do this unironically, for applause? It's almost as good as this



Grand Lagniappe:  I was once a Republican. Because Republicans once said things like this.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  The American ideal of swift justice.

2.  Ashes, ashes, we all...go to the Haunted Mansion.

3. What do "chief diversity officers" actually DO?

4. Social credit system. It's only a matter of time. Bringing the chains back to blockchain.

5. So, the old rule was "don't run, don't lie, and don't be a jerk" when dealing with police. I guess we should add, "Don't lean up on one cheek and fart real loudly, and repeatedly."  And then there's Chris Rock's view of the matter.

6.  Oh......oh, my, no.

7.  Facebook ads: the bot may need some work.

8.  A "corpse flower." Named Morphy. Last time it bloomed, it looked like this. Hard to imagine what it smelled like.

9.  National Anthem, unplugged.

10.  That one personality trait...

11.  Trade wars are bad, and hard to win.

12.  The strain of xenophobia in the electorate has always been an important part of American politics. But it has rarely been enabled by a sitting President. Woodrow Wilson in the 1910's, and FDR against Japanese-Americans, yes. But this is remarkable.

13. Mike Pence changed the world, while we all tried to kill each other.

14.  Lou Dobbs? I have never admired the guy. But....really?

15. The immigrant caravan is a GOOD thing. Neoliberalism is the future we all want.

16. P-Bett has a new book....

17.  Jonah speaks wisdom.

18.  Lonely man, with a gun.

19.  The costs of patronage: Brit edition

20.  I get to talk with Russ R about Tomorrow.



Grand Lagniappe:  Andy hides behind Chrissy Teigen.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links


1. Is "white liberalism" dying? Probably not, but there is some truth here.

2.  It's holiday time, just around the corner. If you want a sound recovery, buy toys!

3.  Robots. And sex doll brothels. Should robot brothels be illegal?

4.  It was consensual. Then, hours later, she changed her mind, and regretted it. That's not actually assault, though. That's being 19.

5. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Well, the police do. Florida woman .

6. Him Too, or not Him Too?

7. LeBron on costs of climate change.

8.  We live in an age of wonders. Gecko butt-dialing is a thing. On the other hand, this happened. Fun to see, I suppose.

9.  Toyshare.

10.  Uber, but for voting.

11.  Empirical requirements of the natural rights argument for property.

12. Grandma reads the Wonky Donkey. That's all, just a laughing Grandma. Not everything has to be deep, people. Just skip to about 1:30, and you'll get the idea.

13.  Odd bedfellows...

14.  Play. Return. Repeat.

15.  Spiders.

16.  Our favorite headlines:  "Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw." That's actually the Tennessee version of "Headless Body Found in Topless Bar," folks.

17. Replication policy

18.  Is it a bad sign that "bail bondsman" is one of our most frequent job descriptions in poor neighborhoods?

19.  There are organized, extralegal paramilitary groups roaming the streets in the U.S., completely uncontrolled by the authorities. Because they ARE the authorities.

20. You can wear a special letter, identifying yourself as an ally. Or be an enemy. There is no neutral, middle ground.


Grand Lagniappe: That question, about wild bears? Yes. Yes, they do.


Monday, October 08, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  We are always on the verge of chaos....

2.  These folks are not conservative, politically. They just think that some leftist academics are fake. And they have some evidence.  Five others extend.

3.  Augur.

4.  Commodities. Easier to handle than investments.

5. A "slump" in dairy is actually a "party" for consumers. There is no guarantee you get a market price that makes your operation profitable. Unless there IS just such a guarantee.

6. If they give us "more" rights like this very often, we won't have any rights left.

7. This man really is an Ass. Dean.

8.  The new NAFTA.

9. Maybe we could use this kind of farcical aquatic ceremony to choose SCOTUS justices. Better than pulling your self out of beer vomit.

10.  The gig economy.

11. Sports has Stephen A. Politics has Michael A.

12.  Burger King Commercial, sort of.

13. Car cow. Has a FB page.

14.  Church wants to stop endorsing "Mormon" nickname. But they are not going to get people to stop saying "LDS." The "real" name is much too long.

15.  If you sleep, and actually WORK for four hours every day, in a focused way, you can be a success.

16. Food at the NC State Fair.

17.  Most important excerpts from RTS.

18.  Drunk birds.

19.  This is substantially true, I'm afraid.

20.  Vibrators. If you want your largely fictional book to sell, just entitle it "The Secret History of...."  As here.  The larger truth.

21. Who's zoomin' who?

22. The U.S. screwed up the "war on drugs" and made things much worse.

23.  Otis. The fat bear

24. 2019 Nobel in Economics: Nordhaus and Romer.  Nice. 

Grand Lagniappe:  At first this seems like it's not worth watching. Then it turns out that it's worth NOT watching. But, still....




If you want something sweet, and less appallingly creepy, then here's a dog lagniappe:

Monday, October 01, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links




1.  Bananas.

2. Turtle has Lego wheels. Teenage mutant Lego turtles.

3.  Skippy and Murphy do this, too.

4.  Oh, like you've never wanted to smack a smug kayaker in the face with an octopus.  Because of course you want to. This seal rared up and did it, though.

5. The hunt is on in Flo-ROO-da. On the other hand, here is a Florida trifecta: 1. Baking cookies on a George Foreman grill, 2. while naked, 3. and then dealing with resulting fire by piling dry towels on the grill.

6.  The shopping cart dance, by tWitch

7.  Many US political institutions are anti-majoritarian....and that's a good thing.

8.  How to talk to women right now.  Ms. Knightley as Collette: always the same, or recognizably universal?

9.  Gallnippers. No, really, gallnippers. I don't think I've ever even seen one. Yikes.

10.  Gekko echo. And the place of profits

11.  Drunk hipsters on scooters. ELECTRIC scooters. It's the end of the world. Although maybe this is the end of the world. Either way, it's the end of the world.

12.  Stanton hits homer. Fan catches ball, hits Stanton.

13.  Gosarians. They are not Gosar worshippers. Although...well.

14.  Fewer bicycle commuters? Could it be....Uber?

15.  "Why the Worst Get on Top." Anyone who believes in statism after watching the event of the past week (month, year, decade, century) would need to explain why this won't just happen again and again.

16. Much of the history of Russian evil is written by the U.S.

17. Take a walk. I am very grateful to Skippy and Murphy, because without them I wouldn't walk enough.  Thanks, fellas. A sense of joy about something as simple as a walk is a big part of a good day.

18. Greg Weiner on Kavanaugh. Yes, exactly. It's sad, but BK is not funny, either. This, on the other hand, is hilarious.

19. Conservatism without classical liberalism is just dumb. Or dangerous. Or both.

20   One problem with the Metro is the "leadership" of the Metro. There really isn't any.

Grand Lagniappe: Kirk, the lady border collie, watches herself win a competition. With greetings to Paco, in Lubbock....

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links


1. Now, okay, let me understand this. Who was teaching whom to drive? And what happened?

2. I'd like to teach the world to drink, with soft drinks full of dope. I'd like to buy the world a Coke, to keep it full of hope!

3.  Are capitalism and a clean environment mutually exclusive?

4.  Tomorrow 3.0: (a) Tech firms sell reductions in transaction costs, disrupt property market. (b) WeWork passes JP Morgan as largest Manhattan office space owner.

5.  Trump is very different from Obama. But in one way--destruction of party organization in favor of personality cult--Trump is Obama redux.

6. Henry Farrell on DIC. Jennifer Burns on DIC.

7.  Florida woman. And Florida man.

8.  One thing you have to give the Left: they actually believe their dogma.  This post aged like a fine bottle of milk left out in the sun.

9. Intergenerational mobility in India.

10.  Just. Give. Them. The. Money.

11.  A review of "Life After Google" by Gilder.

12.  A student in my undergrad class wrote this. Nice.

13. You're probably sick of these ubiquitous "College football mascot's t-shirt cannon misfires and smacks him in the groin" videos. But I'm not.

14.  We spent a lot of money rearranging lunch rooms based on junk science. And the kids just ate elsewhere.

15.  The always thoughtful Reihan Salam.

16. Your unicorn name.... Please share in comments. I am "Violet Moon Cover".

17. My colleague Richard Salsman on Venezuela: "Socialism worked, as advertised!"

18.  "Blueprint" The evolutionary origins of the good society.

19. Doing this is of no interest to me. But I'm glad the world allows capitalism to create such an experience for those who want it. And it's fun to read about.

20.  Florida: First in blue-hair percentage, first in being awful, and last in difference between highest and lowest points in elevation.  If you are wondering, the highest point in Florida is Britton Hill, with a commanding view of Lakewood. Here's a photo of the "summit."  (Though when Dutch Boy was there, the highest point in Florida was in Gainesville!) (Note for people who are neither old nor baseball fans, I borrow from the old saying about DC: "First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The Senators were not usually very good).

21. In an emergency, you have to suspend the law. Unfortunately, the sort of people who want to enforce the law are sometimes those who value their own petty power over any conception of the public good. On the other hand, there may be more to the story, and there may be good reasons why the county intervened. Let's wait a week, and I'll try to find out more.

22.  Is it news when a Nobel-winning economist sacrifices democratic principles to admire Latin American dictators? No, I don't mean Friedman, he was FOR democracy.  No, I don't mean Buchanan, he never even really advised any Latin American dictators. Or anyone else, for that matter. I mean Joseph Stiglitz.

23. On being an octopus.

24. Chinese BBQ restaurant serves medical professionals. depends on impact factor of you publication journals. And bigger discounts for better pubs: the rich get richer.

25.  This is disturbing.





Grand Lagniappe: I'm guessing that this person's user name is "admin" and pw is eight asterisks. Not very concerned with security....







Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links



1.  A most diverting and interesting web site. You can find the current wind direction and speed for any place on earth.

2.  A paper is retracted even before it was published. Not because it was wrong, but because it was upsetting. And then an update.

3. I'm lost. Is this real, or just a highly apt metaphor?

4.  "Even" progressive academics? I'm amazed that anyone is taken in.

5.  The markets/state dichotomy is bad social science, and even worse rhetoric for our side.

6. Good lord: "Does the reification of objectivity and detachment in the discipline serve to reinforce status hierarchies more than produce sound science?"  This is not from the English Dept. It's from an actual social scientist (well, a sociologist; but c'mon). For the record, the answer to the question in quotes is "no."

7.  The fact that the officer was yelling "Let me in!" makes it seem less likely that she was confused about which apartment she was entering. Still, a strange incident, all around.

8. Manhattan boat evacuation on 9-11-01 was the largest boatlift in history.

9.  Wow. Venezuela currently holds the record for self-inflicting de-development, abandoning both prosperity and democracy. But Turkey appears to want to give them a run for their money.

10. Once again, Cass Sunstein reveals that he favors soft fascism, with his technoclerics in charge, over democracy.

11.  Amazon sells reductions in transaction costs for consumers. The result is affecting real estate prices for warehouses.

12. The threat of "genius" in architecture.

13.  Good Lord. It's like I don't even KNOW you people.  Best Mexican Restaurant:  TB

14. Fall....in the South.

15. The NATION, on the "Inequality Industry." Interesting take, from a source I rarely read.

16.  State fought the cash. And the cash won.

17. Quite a bit of stuff here on the 10th anniversary of Lehman Bros.  Some of it is right, but not all of it.

18.  Drew Millard on Trump and Florence....

19. Evidence on the supply side of the gender wage gap.

20. Nice data visualization of US federal budget, since 1963.

21. On price-gouging. Courtesy of Florence.

22. Revolving doors and regulatory capture.

23.  The real cost of rent-seeking.

24. In the People's Republic of Carrboro, there is a rational person. His name is David Mabe.

25.  Just a few years ago, a number of people on the left were talking about how Venezuela was a model for development in the region, precisely BECAUSE it was "real socialism." Now, it is not real socialism, and never was.  It would be funny, if it weren't so not funny.

26. Skippy Squirrelbane is ready to suit up and get back in the game. He's old. But New England needs him and his talents.  Here is Skippy on the phone, talking to Squirrel Headquarters: "I have a very particular set of skillls...."

27.  My review of Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght's book, BASIC INCOME.


Grand Lagniappe: the stores don't run out of EVERYTHING, as a hurricane approaches


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Leavin' on a jet plane.....


Very cool new paper just out in the QJE by Campante and Yanagizawa-Drott.

Here's the abstract :


We study the impact of international long-distance flights on the global spatial allocation of economic activity. To identify causal effects, we exploit variation due to regulatory and technological constraints, which gives rise to a discontinuity in connectedness between cities at a distance of 6,000 miles. We show that improving an airport’s position in the network of air links has a positive effect on local economic activity, as captured by satellite-measured night lights. We find that air links increase business links, showing that the movement of people fosters the movement of capital. In particular, this is driven mostly by capital flowing from high-income to middle-income (but not low-income) countries. Taken together, the results suggest that increasing interconnectedness induces links between businesses and generates economic activity at the local level but also gives rise to increased spatial inequality locally, and potentially globally.

And you can see an ungated version of the paper here.


The regression discontinuity design exploits the rule that flights over 12 hours need a third pilot. That worked out to be flights of over 6000 miles. So city pair flight connectedness drops at that 6000 mile point due to the discontinuity in costs. This exogenous variation in connectedness creates variation in economic activity.

Nice to see a paper with super cool identification also be about something important!  And this isn't the first such paper for Yanagizawa-Drott, as he also wrote the excellent "hate radio in Rwanda" paper.